Cobb County high school club helping bring joy to kids dealing with tragedy
COBB COUNTY, Ga. - A group of high school students is making it their mission to help spread joy to kids who are grieving the loss of a loved one. We first introduced you to the nonprofit The Joy Mission back in December. The organization helps create joy for children who lost their parents. Now an East Cobb High School is taking that one step further to help as many people as possible.
Year round, The Joy Mission tries to find ways to bring some happiness to children experiencing some of the greatest losses.
"Yeah you know the Joy Mission we do Christmas Joy, and we do a big push in the summers to send kids to summer camps," Natalie Sorrels said.
Sorrells started the nonprofit in honor of her niece, Mia. She lost her mother, Natalie's sister, in a drunk driving accident. Last year, Sorrells found an unexpected way to grow her efforts when her neighbor, Julia Randall, approached her. Julia is a junior at Lassiter High School.
"She was babysitting my girls and I was talking to her about this nonprofit I was going to start in honor of my sister. And then the next time she came over she was like what if we could do a club at Lassiter," Sorrells told Good Day's Lindsay Tuman.
Julia was inspired to bring the Joy Mission to her school after her friend's dad passed away in a car accident.
"I wasn't sure really how to be there for her and how to know what to say in such a hard time. And being able to reach out to her was the biggest struggle and I know that not just for high schoolers but for people of all ages, it's really hard to know what to say," Randall said.
So she wanted to bring the Joy Mission to Lassiter as a club.
"The goal was to organize a group of students to help other students. Our main goal is to make sure any students at Lassiter and its feeder elementary and middle schools to know that they have some older kids looking out for them and if they ever need anything we're here to help," the high school junior said.
They also teach others how to talk to friends who are dealing with grief. One way they're connecting with students is by bringing joy baskets to all the Lassiter feeder schools, to show there are students here to help.
"They had this idea to create these joy baskets that have art supplies, and grief resources, and SquishMellows, and books, and journals, and just stuff that they can stuff in these baskets and bring to the feeder school counseling centers for kids who've lost a parent, and they felt quite passionately to include kids who've lost anybody," Sorrells said.
It's another way to build community, and spread a little joy to those who need it the most.
"Kids just being able to acknowledge and show up, it really is what it's all about," Sorrells said.
'If you ever know anybody that needs our help we're to help, and we're going to help provide those moments of joy for students," Randall said.
The students plan to keep the baskets filled at the neighboring schools with supplies all throughout the year to be a constant resource. If your high school is interested in starting a Joy Mission Club, you can reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.